October 2017- What I’m Listening To

October was a big month.

October saw a reckless terror attack on innocent music goers in the US, the release of a Wolf Alice tour based Michael Winterbottom film and a plethora of tour dates released by The Streets. There was Liam Gallagher selling out a huge 2018 Finsbury Park gig in minutes, the dawn of an all new All Points East festival and dates released for the next Bestival and Glastonbury Festival. There was even promises of new music from The Wombats, Saint Raymond and the news of V Festival changing its household name.

But the biggest news of all, or at least for me, was that the brilliant VANT were splitting up. In the last year they’ve released an absolutely incredible and refreshing debut album and toured constantly. I’ve championed the band for the last year and they made it onto my ‘ones to watch in 2017’ list. The band stood for something big and exciting- revolutionary. They voiced a generation via a big platform through a major record label, whilst still keeping in touch with fans. The news was shocking and unexpected, but brought information about a new EP and a short farewell tour. I’ll definitely miss the band, but their short success is definitely something to be proud of. Long live VANT.

This month I’ve been listening to a lot of Loyle Carner, Wolf Alice and Lorde. I can’t get enough of up and coming artists including Superorganism and their explosive single ‘Something for your M.I.N.D’, Cassia and Pale Waves.

I discovered the incredibly talented Marika Hackman. I have my mind blown by music often, but discovering Marika Hackman was one of the best things to have happened over the last few months, having seen her play at Reading earlier this year. I’ve had I’m Not Your Man on repeat for the last month and I can’t get enough of it. The indie-folk singer sings effortless cool, calm and collected songs, with somewhat dark, twisted lyrics deep rooted with wit and humour. She’s absolutely brilliant and I urge everyone to have a listen. I recommend you start with ‘Boyfriend’.

I’ve also been listening to a lot of Blondie. ‘Rapture’ is my power song and gets me prepped for any difficult situation. Its been a bus journey staple.

 

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October 2017- What I’m Listening To

Lorde, The Brighton Centre (30/09/2017)

Lorde brought stunning vocals, spectacular visuals, dancers and Melodrama (in all sense of the word) to The Brighton Centre on the 30th September 2017. She was supported by up and coming artist singer/songwriter Khalid, who won over the sold-out audience with his soulful songs.

Let’s talk about her UK tour as an artistic extension of her latest album, Melodrama, which was released in June this year. Over the summer, Lorde brought Melodrama to festivals globally with dancers in huge tilting glass boxes, orchestras and a large screen showing images sympathetically changing with the songs. It was emotional, moving, and, above all, a real spectacle, which launched Lorde into the big game. I was hoping her UK tour would be different and that, again, she would push production to the limits. She did. Between sets an old TV set was wheeled onto the stage and placed on the side of the stage. The centre of the stage was adorned by hand-drawn neon lights- of astronauts and flowers, their changing broke up the set, as if different acts of a play-¬† and crowned by a neon sign saying ‘Melodrama’. Lorde herself brought out captivating dancers, had costume changes and gave her vocals to poetic interludes streamed through the old television paired with fascinating visuals throughout the set. It felt like an experience. As if an artistic expression, as opposed to just a pop concert.

Lorde opened with ‘Magnets’, a collaboration she did with British DJ duo Disclosure, which seamlessly flowed into ‘Tennis Court’, from her first album Pure Heroine, and then a plethora of new songs, including ‘The Louvre’, ‘Hard Feelings’ and ‘Sober’, which told the story of youth, fame and broken hearts. It felt as if you were on a journey with her.

The set was sewn together with anecdotes handed out to the crowd as if we were friends of hers. It felt intimate. The highlight of the set was definitely when she played ‘Liability’, closely followed by ‘Liability (Reprise)’. Lorde offered the story of the song to adoring fans and how she had once felt “too much” and a bit lost- perhaps something audience members could relate to. It felt extraordinarily vulnerable, but showed a crucial connection to the audience. This was exemplified further when she jumped into the crowd and sung to members of the crowd from the barrier.

Lorde’s unique vocals lend themselves to many songs. On this tour she put her spin ‘In The Air Tonight’ by Phil Collins, which she had covered in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge days earlier. This felt refreshing and broke up the set, whilst still feeling like Lorde. It was exciting to see Lorde take on such an iconic, ambitious song.

The New Zealand born singer brought the set to a close with her breakthrough track, ‘Royals’, followed by ‘Perfect Places’, ‘Team’ and the sensational ‘Green Light’, which brought a gleeful dance party to the Brighton Centre. The crowd- and Lorde herself- danced under a storm of star confetti and the stage went dark.

Confused as to whether or not that was the end audience members began to stir and many began screaming for more. After a few minutes a sampler was placed onto the stage and Lorde- this time on her own, without dancers, her band or huge production- resurfaced from side of stage. She played Loveless under a spotlight on the sampler and left the stage to a roar of applause. It was definitely a thought-provoking ending, with the words ‘L-O-V-E-L-E-S-S Generation’ fading out the set. Was it a lasting statement on the modern way of life, of love?

Lorde’s set was triumphant, bold and ambitious. It felt like a stage show almost. She always manages to captivate a concert on a level of intimacy, of audience interest, with artistic license. She treats shows as a way of expressing herself, expressing art, expressing the way she wants her music to be perceived and the music makes sense within this context. Having said this, if metaphorical, artsy statements aren’t for you, it was genuinely a refreshing live music experience and all round brilliant pop-concert (although that statement feels crudely lost within this context).

Lorde, The Brighton Centre (30/09/2017)

September 2017- What I’ve Been Listening To

This year’s Mercury Prize awards took place on the 14th September 2017 at The Eventim Apollo in London. Amongst this year’s nominated ‘album of the year’ contenders there’s the likes of Glass Animals, Blossoms, Kate Tempest and Loyle Carner. The list includes seven debut albums and five albums by artists from South London- that’s just under half of all the nominees. This year’s Mercury Prize was awarded to Sampha, for his stunning debut album Process. The South London singer won ¬£25,000 alongside the award.

Brighton’s The Great Escape Festival have announced the first 50 acts performing at the festival. Ten Tonnes, King Nun, The Orielles, Stereo Honey, Feet, Sam Fender and Dan Stock are amongst the first 50 to be announced, with many more up and coming artists still to be announced. The 50 acts will play in bars and clubs across London from the 21st-23rd November.

Bedford born Tom Grennan has announced a huge UK tour alongside an album announcement. The album Lighting Matches¬†is due to be released on the 9th March next year. It includes the latest single ‘Royal Highness’, ‘Praying’ and ‘Something in the Water’. Grennan is set to tour the album in March next year.

Noel Gallagher (and his High Flying Birds) have also announced a new album, called Who Built The Moon?,¬†which is due for release later this year. Allegedly the album is inspired by French Psychadelic pop, which sounds fascinating.¬† The album is a collaboration between Gallagher and David Holmes and is set to feature some iconic musicians, such as Paul Weller and Johnny Marr. The announcement came with details of a new single, ‘Holy Mountain’, which is released on October 9th. The news didn’t stop there, Gallagher also announced a whole host of 2018 UK tour dates, including a huge show at London’s SSE Arena.

Jake Bugg is expanding his 2018 acoustic tour in support of his latest album. Bugg has announced dates in Brighton and London, amongst others, in ‘intimate’ venues which are set to make a spectacle of his solo show.

In other news, the BBC are bringing music back onto prime time TV- finally! Yes, we have Jools Holland, which is absolutely massive in terms of breaking new artists and showcasing some of the most uniquely talented artists from across the world, but the new show Sounds Like Friday Night is set to reach a broader audience. The programme, which will air on Friday nights, will be presented by Radio 1’s Greg James and Dotty. It will air for the first time on the 27th October and will feature a different artist as a host each week. On the first episode Jason Deurlo will co-host. The show is set to show live performances from successful bands and artists and also show sketches featuring some famous faces too. I’m looking forward to it because I think it’ll be interesting to see how the BBC are attempting to bring music back onto television, which is something we’re missing.

This month’s playlist features loads of Haim and Glass Animals, who I have been loving since Reading Festival last month (you can check out my review of it here). It also features songs from Superfood’s absolutely massive new album, Bambino, which was also released this month, as well as tracks from Ten Tonnes, Khalid, Pale Waves and Lorde. There’s a few tracks from Wolf Alice’s stunning second album thrown in too.

Next month I can’t wait to see Declan McKenna on his upcoming UK tour and I can’t wait to celebrate BBC Introducing’s 10 year anniversary with them at the O2 Brixton Academy.

 

September 2017- What I’ve Been Listening To

Jake Bugg, All Saints Church for Banquet Records, 31/08/2017 (Live Review)

Just hours before his fourth album- Hearts That Strain– was released, Jake Bugg played two very special album release shows, for Kingston’s Banquet Records, in the heavenly surroundings of the All Saints Church.

Picture this, an ornate church filled with beautifully and carefully crafted Biblical sculptures, with candles and pews destined for dedicated worshippers part of the usual furniture, with colourful stained glass windows depicting an amplitude of Bible stories covering almost every wall. In the middle of the room stands 23 year old Jake Bugg (only slightly elevated) and his guitar- no band this time- in front of a gathering of people who are peppered in between large columns and refreshment stands. The whole thing seems almost evangelical.

Jake Bugg- who “hasn’t finished practising all his new songs”- opens with the album’s title track ‘Hearts That Strain’ before treating the audience to stripped back favourites from his now expansive back catalogue. Songs like ‘Trouble Town’, ‘The Love We’re Hoping For’ and ‘Simple As This’ encase songs from his new album, including ‘Southern Rain’ and his latest single ‘How Soon The Dawn’, reminding the awe-struck audience that this is an album release show. Bugg takes time to tune his guitar and ponder over how to play old tracks and songs straight from the studio; he hadn’t quite started touring the album yet.

The highlight of the set was ‘Broken’, a song from his first self-titled record. This came as no surprise as it always has a huge live appeal. Bugg played and sang as his audience sang with him- it felt almost gospel. The whole performance felt special and somewhat spiritual, if you will.

What struck me most about the event was how intimate it felt. How unpolished and imperfect it was, which made it feel extraordinarily special. Bugg has refined his performance, grown comfortable and confident performing solo- proving he definitely doesn’t need a band- and has stripped back to his roots. He revisits and reimagines the acoustic roots which made him famous in the first place. Interestingly, the room was filled with an older audience, showing Bugg’s mass appeal. He can easily draw a crowd of teenage fans at Reading Festival, but can also attract middle aged concert goers and seemingly ‘unlikely’ fans at a midweek concert in a church. That’s a real skill.

Jake Bugg, All Saints Church for Banquet Records, 31/08/2017 (Live Review)

Reading Festival, 25th-27th August 2017 (Festival Review)

So Reading (and Leeds) Festival is over for another year and this year’s festival was a huge success. The event, held at Richfield Avenue, took place from Friday 25th August to the 27th August and was headlined by Kasabian, Eminem and Muse. There were a couple of (not so) secret sets over the weekend too, including appearances from Wolf Alice and Queens of the Stone Age (who will no doubt be back next year, perhaps the latter as headliners).

Here are my highlights:

Friday

The Magic Gang¬†played a triumphant late morning set on the BBC/NME Stage to set off an exciting weekend of live music. The Brighton band played an enthusiastic and energetic set, filled with previously released songs- including ‘All This Way’ and ‘Jasmine’- as well as their latest single ‘Your Love’.

If you haven’t seen Declan McKenna¬†in 2017 then I don’t know where you’ve been! He’s played pretty much every UK festival and Reading and Leeds was no exception. The 18-year-old played his first ever Reading and Leeds set (having attended Reading for the past two years) on the BBC/NME Stage to a packed out audience. McKenna sang songs from his debut album- What Do You Think About The Car?– and jumped into the audience a few times in the set, with the first time unsuccessfully ending up in the middle of a mosh pit. McKenna laughed off forgetting the words to ‘Paracetamol’ and continued to gleefully run around the stage as the audience sang, cheered and clapped along. Declan McKenna knows how to excite an audience.

Anne-Marie might not have seemed an obvious choice for Reading Festival, but by the sheer amount of people who turned up to see the ‘Rockabye’ singer she’s clearly a popular one. The singer played a mixture of singles, including ‘Do It’ and ‘Alarm’, and lesser known songs, before ending with the hit-singles ‘Ciao Adios’ and a stunning version of Clean Bandit’s ‘Rockabye’, which she features on. The audience were in awe as she sang pitch perfect songs and as she jumped into the crowd to take selfies with the audience.

It’s been quite a year for Two Door Cinema Club. Last year they headlined the BBC/NME Stage and now they’re creeping up the Main Stage line-up, with a new album and countless tours under their belts. Two Door Cinema Club know how to put together a good setlist, which featured hit after hit and a copious amount of fan favourites. They always put on a good, feel-good show.

Bastille brought the Wild Word tour to Reading Festival, with brilliant visuals and stories of politics and life laced throughout. The band played songs spanning their back catalogue and the radio-hits from their latest album. The drumming on Pompeii was an obvious highlight, as the audience loved singing along.

British rock band You Me At Six¬†closed the first day of the BBC/NME Stage. The set- which featured huge pyrotechnic displays- was plagued by technical difficulties, which prompted a spine-tingling acapella rendition of ‘Lover Boy’ from the album Sinners Never Sleep. The band played under a sea of mobile phone lights and lighters during ‘Take On The World’, before bringing guitar lead rock hit after hit to the Reading Stage. The band treated fans to songs from their debut album- Take Off Your Colours– ahead of its 10 year anniversary next year, with front man Josh Franceschi telling his desires of wanting to do an anniversary tour next year. The band were on top form that night.

Saturday

The not-so-secret secret act Wolf Alice¬†played to dedicated fans and festival goers at 11:00am on Saturday morning. The set was incredibly lively with famous fans, label mates and onlookers (including The 1975’s Matty Healy and Slaves’ Isaac Holman) stood side of the stage. The band played songs from their 2015 debut album, My Love Is Cool, and showcased new songs from their forthcoming second album, Visions of a Life,¬†including the singles ‘Yuk Foo’, ‘Beautifully Unconventional’ and ‘Don’t’ Delete The Kisses’. The atmosphere was incredible.

Blaenavon¬†played the BBC/NME Stage early on in the day. The band brought That’s Your Lot to Reading Festival and treated the crowd to their mature, alternative music. The band played songs including ‘Orthodox Man’, ‘Let’s Pray’ and the stunning ‘Prague’ before front man Ben Gregory jumped into the crowd.

Dan Stock¬†played on the BBC Introducing Stage. Singer songwriter Dan Stock stood solo centre stage and played as if he were playing to an arena. His lyrically clever and satisfying songs echoed that of Alex Turner and his assured stage presence commanded the respect of Jake Bugg, Declan McKenna or Liam Fray. With the aid of a band (eventually) he could become pretty huge. He’s definitely one to watch.

A couple of weeks before Superfood¬†released their triumphant ‘comeback’ album Bambino¬†the band played Reading Festival. The festival gave a platform for the band to showcase songs from the upcoming album, including ‘Where’s The Bass Amp?’, ‘Double Dutch’ and ‘I Can’t See’, throughout which they encouraged the audience to dance. The band also played tracks from their 2014 debut album Don’t Say That, including the song ‘Superfood’.

Ahead of their biggest UK tour to date (which features shows at London’s O2 Brixton Academy) Sundara Karma delighted the Reading audience to a spectacular homecoming show. The Reading band played a no-gimmick set filled with tracks off of their (now extended) debut album, Youth is Only Every Fun in Retrospect, which was released earlier this year. The band opened up the Main Stage at Reading Festival last year in what turned out to be a career defining performance and this felt like a triumphant progression. Sundara Karma are continuing to make waves with their effortlessly cool, alternative music and the fans sure are loving it.

Everything Everything¬†played a lot of their new album A Fever Dream¬†at this year’s Reading Festival. The band’s set featured heavily a lot of new tracks, including the single ‘Can’t Do’, with the odd fan favourite peppered in to the audience’s excitement. The highlight of the set was the weirdly wonderful ‘No Reptiles’, with its absurd, yet clever lyrics and infectiously catchy nature, with songs like ‘Distant Past’, ‘Kemosabe’ and ‘Spring Summer Winter Dread’ also loved by the fans. It’s great to see Everything Everything back with refreshing new material though, even if it seems relatively toned down compared to what came prior to it.

Glass Animals¬†are a band so powerful that they brought on an entire pineapple ban at this year’s festival. The Oxford band brought How To Be A Human Being to Reading with it’s chilled out, psychedelic (almost) tracks and performed in front of the world’s largest golden pineapple disco ball and a plethora of pineapples and cacti on stage. The ban on pineapples did not stop fans from smuggling the odd pineapple in, as those successful sat holding their prize goods high on top of the shoulders, commanding proud applause. The band opened up with the gloriously energetic ‘Life Itself’ and closed with the song that brought on an entire fruit ban, ‘Pork Soda’. Front man Dave Bayely even performed the entirety of ‘Gooey’, from their debut album, stood in the crowd. It was a sight to behold.

Sunday

Ten Tonnes played to a packed out tent full of festival goers on the Festival Republic Stage. The singer songwriter graduated from The BBC Introducing Stage, which he played last year, onto the Festival Republic Stage in a move that felt fitting with his growing audience. Ethan Barnett- as he’s formally known- is gathering momentum, with his catchy, easy to love, feel-good songs.

Up and coming London band¬†King Nun¬†played a raucous Sunday afternoon set on the Festival Republic Stage, where they showcased previously released singles including ‘Speakerface’ and ‘Tulip’. Their punk riddled indie-rock music proved popular with the young crowd who jumped, danced and moshed accordingly.

The Sherlocks returned to Reading Festival for the third year, having progressed up to the BBC/NME Stage this year. The tent was filled with fans and flares and had a similar feeling of excitement to that of a Courteeners concert. This came a week after their debut album, Live For The Moment, was released, so the band treated fans with hit after hit from the album.

Will Joseph Cook¬†brought his gloriously, sun-kissed indie-rock tunes to a blissful Reading Festival late on a sunny Sunday afternoon. His set rivalled Giggs’¬†on the Main Stage- who brought pop/hip-hop sensation out Drake– and the atmosphere in the tent was chilled out in comparison. He played a whole host of songs from his debut album, Sweet Dreamer, and also treated fans to songs from his earlier EPs.

Blossoms¬†played a tricky set before Liam Gallagher on the Main Stage. Blossoms are a band completely capable and worthy of playing huge stages, but this felt as though they were swimming against the tide, with crowds refusing to participate, Muse fans sitting about in preparation for the evening, huge lack of singing, support and engagement with the audience. The band seemed to pick up on this and it all felt a bit depleting. Having said this, the Stockport lads delivered a set full of the hits- with everyone going crazy for biggest hit ‘Charlemagne’- from their debut self-titled albums, with the usual gimmicks thrown in for good measure. I could probably recite the whole set by this point; it’s quite predictable now!

Liam Gallagher¬†performed a gallant set on the Main Stage at Reading Festival before headliner Muse. The icon, clad in his usual green trench coat, sunglasses and iconic haircut, sang Oasis hits (including ‘Morning Glory’ and ‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Star’) and songs from his forthcoming debut album, As You Were,¬†which is due for release in October. Gallagher ended his set with the indie classic and obvious anthem ‘Wonderwall’, which saw fans of all ages united in song. Liam actually sounded top of his game though and seemed as happy as ever.

Halsey played the BBC/NME Stage whilst her North American tour mate Charli XCX brought her iconic pop hits and bubble-gum pop to the Dance Stage. Charli XCX played surrounded by pink confetti, dancing blow up ‘people’ (I suppose) and her all-female band and brought the party to the festival. The tent overspilled with people jumping and dancing all around. Definitely a highlight.

Haim closed the BBC/NME Stage at Reading Festival with a spectacular headline set. The band’s performance was a year over-due, as they cancelled their headline slot last year due to wanting to finish up their new album, but it was definitely worth the wait. The band played hits from their first album- Days Are Gone – and their latest album, Something To Tell You. The set featured a lot of dancing, bursts of humorous chat, a bucket full of bass face and the most captivating drumming display ending. Definitely a huge highlight over the weekend.

Overall, it was another great Reading Festival and the strong line-up proves why the festival is still going so strong after so many years. The good festivals do it properly and well, setting them miles apart from the rest.

 

Reading Festival, 25th-27th August 2017 (Festival Review)

August 2017- What I’ve Been Listening To

Festival season’s going strong, there are Winter tours being announced left right and centre and we’ve seen a good few comebacks…

Firstly, Taylor Swift has come out of hiding. This isn’t my usual sort of news, but obviously her unexpected return made waves across social media and shook the charts. Swift is back with yet more tales of love, ex-lovers and a fresh helping of celebrity ‘beef’ (no doubt) with new album Reputation, which is out on November 10th. Swift released the first single- Look What You Made Me Do- from the album this month with a video which sees Taylor Swift make effigies of her former selves and watch their flaws come to life. I don’t know if it’s clever or not (it looks like Swift is trying to “shake off”- haaaaa- the ‘good girl’ persona and go for an edgier feel), but the song is laced with cliches and feels weirdly uncomfortable to watch. It goes without saying, however, that whatever Taylor Swift does will inevitably be hugely successful and that’s what makes her so fascinating.

Jake Bugg announced in August that he would be releasing a surprise acoustic album on the 1st September. The album came along with a new single, How Soon The Dawn, and a string of acoustic tour dates up and down the UK. He latterly released a one off show at All Saint’s Church, in Kingston, for Banquet Records.

Small festivals are popping up everywhere, which has seen what feels like a spike in festival cancellations, horror stories and lacklustre line-ups. This month Hope and Glory Festival, which was due to be held in Liverpool and due to he headlined by the Hacienda Classical and James, was cancelled after one day. Crowds complained of overcrowding, artists being axed or forced to push back their sets and chaotic scenes. The company behind the festival have since gone into liquidation.

Manchester Arena was reopened on the 9th September. The We Are Manchester event, headlined by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, saw artists like Blossoms and The Courteeners perform amongst the star studded line up. The event sold out fully and was pretty emotional for all involved.

I love Reading Festival. I love Reading Festival because I genuinely believe it showcases some of the world’s greatest musicians but also for the more trivial things like the huge amount of previously unreleased tour dates which are pasted across the walls. This does, however, mean lots of ticket buying and a very stressful post-Reading ticket buying week. This year Declan McKenna, Kasabian and Paramore all announced Autumn/Winter UK tours, which all look like they’re going to be giant. I’m especially excited to see Paramore play the big venues they’re destined to play again.

On another note, I wrote an article this month for the Lottery Funded music website, The Big Muisc Project, who help young people get into the music industry. I wrote an article for them about how to get work experience in the music industry as part of their ‘Rising Stars of Journalism’ scheme. I’ll link it here, in case you wanted to check it out! It was an incredibly interesting, exciting and valuable experience, which I enjoyed taking part in.

This month’s list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning how incredible Reading Festival was again. This month’s playlist is laced with the music that took me up to the weekend and the music that stuck on the tip of my tongue afterwards. I’ve especially been loving Wolf Alice, Will Joseph Cook, Declan McKenna and Ten Tonnes. I’ve also been obsessed by Blaenavon’s ‘Prague’ and HalfNoise’s ‘Scooby’s in the House’. There’s also Dua Lipa’s number one single, New Rules, which is such a feel good summer anthem, enjoy!

 

 

 

August 2017- What I’ve Been Listening To

Declan McKenna- What Do You Think About The Car? (Album Review)

Declan McKenna released his debut album- What Do You Think About The Car? – on the 21st July 2017, on Columbia Records. The album is full of the songs we’ve been loving for years now and the album is nothing short of a success.

“Dec, what do you think about the car? Do you like it?” “I think it’s really good and I’m going to sing my new album now” sounds a sample at the very beginning of the record before bursting into the infectious single ‘Humungous’. The track is humungous and powerful. It’s full of energy. It leads the listener into tracks he’s previously released, tracks we’ve heard before as an audience. The mix of new tracks and established favourites makes this album particularly exciting. Singles like ‘The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home’ fit perfectly into the context of an album, but are still strong enough to be popular singles. They’re statements. A collection of expressions and confessions.

If there’s anything Declan McKenna can do well it’s writing huge politically charged tracks which sound relatively uplifting and cheerful despite their often deep, reflective lyrics- see ‘Paracetamol’, biggest hit ‘Brazil’ and ‘Bethlehem’. He takes on the role of character and narrator to write incredibly introspective and a close, educated study of the world around him.¬†Similarly, ‘I Am Everyone Else’ is a track about, according to McKenna, politicians pretending to represent the masses and how they try and act and appear ‘normal’. This theme appears a lot throughout.

Songs like ‘Mind’ and ‘Make Me Your Queen’ drawn on studies of love and loss. They work nicely between all the politically laced tracks. ‘Why Do You Feel So Down?’ feels sympathetic. It’s rooted with sadness.

The final track on the album ‘Listen to Your Friends’ is by far the most triumphant song on the album. It feels like he’s establishing something, a lasting message. There’s a spoken word bridge during the song, which again draws on global politics (covering the school holiday ban, the psychoactive substance ban, free health care etc.). It’s incredibly informed and interesting. It forces the listener to reflect, other than that it’s just an incredibly catchy song.

Overall, Declan McKenna’s debut album is a huge success and is easily one of the best albums of the year so far. It’s incredibly well thought out, tackles huge topics and thought provoking. I can’t wait to see what McKenna does next. I know it’ll be big.

Declan Mckenna sets off on a UK tour in October.

 

Declan McKenna- What Do You Think About The Car? (Album Review)